Critical Thinking in Science Education: Can Bioethical Issues and Questioning Strategies Increase Scientific Understandings?


  • Thelma M. Gunn University of Lethbridge
  • Lance M. Grigg University of Lethbridge
  • Guy A. Pomahac University of Lethbridge



Many North American school districts and post-secondary academic institutions are acknowledging the importance of becoming a critical thinker. Future citizens will need to be to informed consumers of technology, science, sociology, and ethics, to name a few. After all, the world has become vastly more complicated, necessitating such skills as reasonableness and logical thinking. By engaging students at a crucial time in their developmental process, we can lay the foundation for good critical thinkers. The purpose of this paper is to examine the importance of critical thinking in science education, both at the secondary and post-secondary levels. Evidence regarding its suitability will be drawn from critical thinking and science education literature, as well as previous studies using bioethical decision-making and generic question stem strategies with middle school and university students.